Reducing poverty and income inequality through safety-net programs like those provided at EFAA can stimulate our community’s economic growth. EFAA programs don’t just help individual families — they are an investment in the customers, employees and future workforce of the local businesses that are so important to Boulder’s overall success.
Here at EFAA, we have strong relationships within the local business community. In fact, about 10 percent of EFAA’s cash revenues come directly from local companies. Businesses support EFAA in many different ways, including financial donations, designations of EFAA within annual employee giving plans, sponsorship of our annual Celebration event, and support through events that benefit EFAA, like the Taste of Pearl coming up on Sunday, April 19th. There are many creative ways to give. For example, for ten years running Western Disposal has provided consistent funding to EFAA in lieu of gifts to their clients, something their clients resoundingly voted for in a customer survey. Their customers, like many customers, prefer funds to go to a local worthy cause.
Companies also contribute through in-kind donations. For example, private companies account for 25 percent of all community contributions to EFAA’s food bank, or about 60,000 pounds per year. This includes donations from Rudi’s Bakery, Whole Foods Market, Target and Boulder Brands, which provides gluten-free products to the 18 percent of EFAA clients who require that dietary modification. Other in-kind support includes branding and marketing expertise from Anthem Branding and Room 214, and computers for client access at our housing sites from Rally Software. A long list of loyal merchants, like McGuckins Hardware, Liquor Mart, and Walters and Hogsett, also generously provide items for our annual gala.
EFAA’s corporate partners also help us directly deliver our services to clients through volunteering. During the holidays, more than 20 business groups arranged volunteer crews to work in the food bank and distribute our Adopt-a-Family gifts. This spring, EFAA will be working with our corporate partners to build teams to tackle outside projects at our various housing units across Boulder County.
This engagement of local businesses reflects the growing awareness of and commitment to corporate social responsibility. Many successful Boulder County businesses have been national leaders in the trend toward the “triple bottom line”: people, profits and planet. These businesses focus on the creation of value for the whole society and stewardship of our local social and environmental ecosystems. Research has shown that this, in turn, helps the businesses themselves through improved financial performance, enhanced brand reputation, increased customer loyalty and higher employee satisfaction.
Business partnership with EFAA is important for our bottom line, too, but it also helps us invest more broadly in our community. In fact, evidence from the U.S. and the world point to direct positive linkages between safety-net programs and economic growth in general. Last year, EFAA’s budget went toward more than $800,000 in direct financial assistance to families to help with rent, utilities and other basic services, and an additional $2 million in expenditures through our housing services, food bank, case management, fundraising, and administrative expenses, almost all of which flows directly back into our local economy. Over the longer term, safety nets increase human capital and productivity, which are drivers of economic growth. There is also significant evidence that safety nets can increase economic mobility, especially for low-income children, which addresses inter-generational poverty traps. Asset accumulation, often promoted through the financial empowerment and stability provided by safety-net programs, serves as a household hedge against shocks and becomes the basis of poverty reduction over the longer-term.
How can your company partner with EFAA to help strengthen our community and your bottom line?
For more information about how to get involved as one of EFAA’s corporate partners, please contact email@example.com.
Julie Van Domelen, EFAA Executive Director